I hate when I go to a restaurant and the kids' menu is combination of fried foods and buttered noodles. Sometimes, you get lucky and they toss in an apple. Really? You can't offer grilled chicken and roasted veggies, no, but here's a tube of sugar with a little yogurt mixed in. No wonder kids don't want to eat broccoli.
If you think my kids only get carrots and hummus, you would be wrong. I buy Goldfish crackers and cookies, but I try to sprinkle in a few healthier items. Some, like Cauliflower pretzels, were not a hit, but others, like the turkey jerky, are so loved I order them in bulk.
TurkeyJerky: You might be thinking this sounds gross, but the kids and I love them. The best part is it's very portable, tasty, and lower in sodium than most jerky. Since the portion size is on the smaller side, it's great for kids.
Slim Kim: Another easy and healthy snack is popcorn, but don't be fooled -- not all popcorn is healthy. Movie theater popcorn is like a heart attack in a box, and the chemicals in microwave popcorn scare me. But this brand is low in calories and fat and tastes great. It's also a local company, owned and operated in Highland Park. They sell it at most Jewel grocery stores.
Pumpkin seeds are my favorite, and the kids also like them. They are full of protein, healthy fats, and fiber -- just pay attention to the serving size. If you follow the link, you can see the brand I like best. It's perfect to add to trail-mix.
Fig Bar: We are always trying to get my little one more fiber. These only have 2 grams per serving, but it's more than most cookies on the market. My kids like the strawberry, blueberry, and their favorite is fig (aka fig fig).
Biena makes baked chickpeas. I tried to make them on my own, but these are way better. Our favorite flavors are honey-roasted and sea salt. This snack packs in the nutrition with 6 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein. This is a great add-on to salads, or instead of potato chips. When I crave a crunch, these are my go-to.
Fruits and vegetables: I can't leave these out. My youngest son is into apples, kiwis, grapes and bananas. I learned that if I take the grapes off the vine, they get eaten much faster. And even though he protests, if I cut up the apple, he eats the entire apple, otherwise there are like five bite marks with a mostly un-eaten apple left. My older son is into frozen blueberries, mangos, peas and peaches, and he'll eat pretty much any other fruit or veggie as a snack (we are lucky).
The takeaway here is to look for some healthy snack options, and take the time to prep cucumbers, apples, carrots, grapes, etc. … and when it's winter, stock up on frozen summer fruits like berries and peaches.
I'm always on the hunt for new healthy snacks, so please send me your favorites.